So Who is the Best in Canada?

So who is the best team in Canada? Well I will attempt to break it down with an analysis for everything that is hockey from goaltending to best fans to defence to best arena. Everything will be covered and from this maybe we can determine who the best team in Canada really is.

FORWARDS

Centres:

1. Toronto:Sundin, Nieuwendyk, Stajan, Wilm

Group has one of the best players in the game and a top faceoffmen, clutch player and top youngsters.

2. Montreal:Koivu, Ribiero, Bonk, Begin

Top 3 capable of scoring 70 plus points.

3. Ottawa-Spezza, Smolinski, White, Fisher

No star (yet) but great depth. Poor on faceoffs.

4. Calgary- Langkow, LOmbardi, Nilson, Yelle

Excellent group defensively and has tons of speed and grit. Small in size but not in heart, desire.

5. Vancouver-MOrrison, Sedin, Kesler, Chubarov

Consistency lacking in this group. But the skill is there and still young with room to grow.

6. Edmonton-York, Horcoff, Reasoner, Stoll

Not a top two centre among this group (York is a natural winger). great speed and solid defensively though.

Right Wing:

1. Ottawa- Alfredsson, Hossa, Havlat, Neil

Speed, skill a plenty with this group. May have the best right side in hockey.

2. Calgary-Iginla, Reinprecht, Donovan, Kobasew

Group has tons of speed and skill and has arguably one of the league’s best players.

3. Vancouver- Bertuzzi, Cooke, Linden, King

big, gritty, tough right side with one of the best power players in the game (if he isnt suspended)

4. TOronto-Mogilny,Nolan, Antropov, Domi, Perrott

Lots of size and toughness, and skill too but very injury prone and too many over the hill guys.

5. Edmonton-Dvorak, Hemsky, Laraque, Pisani

May be the fastest right wing in hockey as Dvorak, Hemsky and Pisani can fly but lack experience.

6. Montreal-Ryder, Ward, Sundstrom

Still in need of the top line RW. Where is Kovalev?

Left Wing

1. Vancouver-Naslund, Sedin, Ruttu, May

The best LW in hockey plays here and they are a good mix of speed and skill with grit and toughness

2. Edmonton-Smyth, Moreau, Isbister, Torres

Very speedy physical group. no passengers here but production may be lacking. YOrk can play here too if they find a centre.

3. Toronto- Roberts, Ponikarovsky, Tucker, Kilger

Lots of size, grit, toughness. Very hard working group but speed and skill may be lacking.

4. Calgary- Gelinas, Simon, Nieminen, Weimer

not lacking in toughness, work ethic, grit and size. not big scorers but all capable of getting double digits.

5. Montreal- Zednik, Bulis, Daigenais

Could use another top liner but decent skill and speed from this group. spot open for a prospect.

6. Ottawa- Schaefer, Varada, Langfield, Vermette

Not really much scoring from this group. could use a power winger on this side to balance out their skill and speed on the right side.

Prospects

1. Montreal-Hossa, Perezhogin, Kastsistyn, HIggins, Chipchura,Lambert, Urquhart, Lapierre

Boat loads of kids on the way give the habs a bright future. lots of talent here full of speed and skill.

2. Edmonton-Shremp, Rita, Salmelainen, Niinimaki, Pouliot, Mikhnov, Cullen

Lots of good prospects on the way for the Oil, but most of these kids need to play well more consistently to make the already young oiler team.

3. Calgary-CHucko, Nystrom, Taratukhin, Maki, Trubachev, Zainullin

Already a young team but has some decent prospects on the way.

4. Ottawa-Eaves, Kaigorodov, Mirnov, Bochenski

Best young forwards already with team but have some decent talent up and coming. will give them time to develop as no need to rush.

5. Vancouver- Krikunov, Reid, Nolan, Bernier, Fedorov, Glasdskikh

Need prospects to play with more consistency in order to make the big club, specifically Fedorov and Reid.

6. Toronto- Steen, Wellwood, WIlliams, Druken

Cupboard is bare after Steen. Need to restock system and start building from within.

DEFENCE

1. Ottawa-Redden, Chara, Phillips, Volchenkov, Pothier, Devries

Top 3 is as good as any in the league. good depth too.

2. Calgary- Leopold, Regher, Warrener, Lydman, Ference, Montador, Commodore

Could afford to move Gauthier with this group. played very well in the playoffs and had great chemistry. Could use a bit more offence but that may come with more experience.

3. Toronto- Leetch, Mccabe, Kaberle, Klee, Berg, Pilar, Belak

Very Solid top 4. COuld use a big rugged tough stay at home dman but so could 29 other teams. talent dropoff after top 4 is large.

4. Vancouver- Jovanovski, Ohlund, Malik, Salo, Sopel, Allen

2 big time horses in JOvo and Ohlund. rest of group needs to stay healthy and play more consistent. lacks steady stay at home presence.

5. Edmonton-Brewer, Smith, Staios, Semenov, Bergeron, Cross, Ulanov

as a group it is very solid despite not having a true no 1 guy. very gritty and hard working and provides good offence as a group too.

6. Montreal- Souray, Brisebois, Markov, Rivet, Komisarek, Bouillion

Must play with more consistency and stay healthy to be better. puts too much burden on the goalie. but talent is there to get better.

Prospects

1. Calgary-Phaneuf, Ramholt

Has the next all star type blueliner. could be the next Foote or Stevens or Blake. PHaneuf has tons of potential to be a great impact player.

2. Edmonton- Woywitka, Lynch, Green

3 very good prospects that may soon step in. all are big and can skate and take care of their own end.

3. Toronto-Coliacovo, Hedin, Bell, Harrison, Kronvall, White

Tons of depth and talent. Leafs should take their time and let them develop properly without rushing them.

4. Ottawa- Meszaros, SChubert, Vauclair, Gimayev

Decent depth but will be hard pressed to crack the top 6 who are not taht old to begin with.

5. Montreal- Hainsey, Beauchemin

Hainsey will get a chance this year to make it. But needs to be brought along slowly.

6. Vancouver- Koltsov

Most of their current defence is in their prime but this position really needs to develop a decent blueliner or two in the next few years.

Goaltending

1. Montreal-Theodore, Huet

I have not seen a goalie win as so many games for his team as Theodore. and it is usually of the 40 shots against variety. He is the franchise and as he goes so go the Habs.

2. Toronto- Belfour, Tellqvist

Injuries leave a huge question mark as Belfour could go down at any time. But when he is playing he can catch fire and show that he is still one of the best. Best technical goalie in the League.

3. Calgary- Kiprusoff, Turek

What a year last year for Kipper. can he do it again? I say yes. he will need to be even better if the Flames want to get back to the finals.

4. Ottawa- Hasek, Prusek

Hasek has lots to prove that he still has it and if he does, the Cup will come to the nations capital. He must stay healthy for the playoffs.

5. Vancouver- Cloutier, AUld

Always puts up good regular season numbers but Cloutier has struggled in the playoffs. He will be given one more chance i think.

6. Edmonton- Conklin, Maarkanen

Very solid tandem but unknown yet who will be the clearcut no 1. Conklin has the inside track but Maarkanen can step in fine if Ty falters.

Prospects

1. Ottawa-Emery

Very good prospect but needs to tone down the emotions. Great athleticism.

2. Edmonton- Dubnyk, Deslauriers

2 top goalie prospects give the Oil a bright future in goal. Could be the next Fhur/Moog tandem.

3. Vancouver-Schnieder

Top pick will be given time to develop. a few years away.

4. Calgary- Krahn

being brought along slowly but Flames can afford to with Kiprusoff in goal now.

5. Montreal-Danis

College prospect can take all the time he needs as he wont unseat Theo quite yet.

6. Toronto-Ford, Pogge

Long term projects may or may not pan out.

Best Offensive Team

1. Ottawa- choke you off defensively and force turnovers with speed and counter attack and finish teams off with their skill. great PP with Redden and ALfie at the points. could use a guy to stand in front of the net and who can finish in close. always near the top in scoring. may score even more as Murray will preach more offense.

2. Toronto- always a good offensive team with all the talent led by Sundin. can throw out a great PP with Leetch and McCabe at the points. scores lots of goals in close as like to play physical game but can score on the rush too.

3. Vancouver- Top line may be the best in hockey. tehy have great chemistry together. need to get better on the PP but talent is there to dominate. secondary scoring is a bit lacking unless the twins step it up. can score off the rush with Naslund using his speed. can score in close with Bertuzzi bulling his way to the net or off the cycle where Cooke and the Sedins are very good. the D loves to pinch and join the rush.

4. Calgary- Iginla is the offence but quite an offence he is. almost every shift he is dangerous. he is almost unstoppable. lots of checkers and grinders who can chip in a few goals. Langkow and Reinprecht should help add more offence. could use Leopold and Lydman to add more from the D.

5. Montreal- will move up in the rankings if they can bring back Kovalev or someone similar. they have 2 ok scoring lines and some Dmen who can add offence but PP is rather bad and can slump at times and really dont score too many ugly goals as they are a small soft team.

6. Edmonton- big reason why they miss the playoffs as they dont have an Iginla to carry the offence. rest of team is similar to the Flames with some decent skill guys and a ton of grinders who can chip in with goals. great forecheck causes turnovers and creates some chances. D likes to join rush and can add a few goals. Also many of forwards can dance and use their speed to their advantage but team lacks finishers. No Gretzky’s Kurri’s Messiers on this team.

Best Defensive Team

1. Ottawa- been playing trap hockey for 8 years and pretty much have that down pat. excellent positioning, good hockey sense and good speed choke off opposition and prevents many chances. Chara is a great shut down guy. Goaltending has faltered a bit in the past but hopefully Hasek will stop that trend. Must be a bit more willing to pay with pain in the playoffs to be a bit more successful. their soft play usually costs them the big games. not good on faceoffs.

2. Calgary-showed how strong defensively they were in the playoffs. all lines can play against the top line and top 4 dmen can all be shutdown guys. and Kipper in goal covers up whatever is missed. Speed lets them be aggressive and forecheck hard but helps them get back in teh play if they get caught. almost impossible to outfight, outrace and outwork flames for the puck limiting chances to score.

3. Montreal-Julien has put in a very solid defensive system that has help limit the amount of 40 plus shots a game for Theodore. but Theo is the backbone of the defence and usually comes up huge. but the system that uses the habs great team speed to their advantage choking off the neutral zone and forechecking hard to pressure a slow defence. small and soft, it causes the team to lose many puck battles and fights in front of the net

4. Edmonton- with great speed and eager forecheckers the defence relies on this to stop teams from scoring.

5. Toronto-Belfour is the defence. he seems to bail his team out time in and time out. however the team has gotten a bit better over the last few years. They are still soft in front of the net and let bigger teams have long stretches of puck control. great faceoff team. also very decent on the PK.

6. Vancouver-have improved defensively over the years but still prone to some breakdowns. very strong on the PK. uses speed and agression to create turnovers and counter attack. defensive zone coverage can be sloppy and goaltending cannot bail out the team’s breakdowns.

Best Captain

1. Toronto-Sundin is the quiet leader who talks when he needs to and everyone listens. He also seems to come up big late in games. one of the all time leaders in OT winners and a good playoff performer.

2. Calgary-Iginla has carried the flames on his back and will continue to do so as long as humanly possible. he leads by example with his infectious energy and heart of a lion. if something needs to be said he will do it but he leads more by example.

3. Montreal-Koivu is a small man with a huge heart. his amazing comeback from cancer was legendary and was an inspiration to his teammates. not afraid to speak up when needed but with his dogged dermination he proves his worth on the ice.

4. Ottawa-Alfredsson is a good captain who’s time to win may come soon. he needs to have a bit better performance in the playoffs and lead more by example than lead with his mouth and sprout off predictions and guarantees.

5. Vancouver-Naslund is very productive. he leads more by putting up points and scoring big goals than with what he says. he is a quiet leader but who has a burning desire to win. however he has not done very much at all come playoff time.

6. Edmonton-Smith wears it all on his sleeve. one of the toughest players around he doesnt need to say much and rather lead by example. his pain threshold is inhuman. because of that, you wont find any passengers on the Oilers.

Best Fighter

1. Edmonton-Laraque doesnt fight that much cause people dont want to fight him. he is strong as an ox. If it isnt Georges it is Smith, Moreau, Staios who are more than willing to stick up for their mates.

2. Toronto-Domi may be small and getting older but can still throw’em with the best of them. Belak is one of the top guys too and Perrott isnt shy either.

3. Calgary-Simon is big and tough and has 2 good shoulders again which make him as tough as ever.

4. Ottawa-Neil can hold his own against the big boys, more of an agitator than a true enforcer

5. Vancouver-May is a grizzled veteran who can still be more than willing to stick up for his mates.

6. Montreal-Losing Langdon is a bigger blow than they seem to think. He needs to be replaced or they will have to go with minor leaguer Gordie Dwyer.

Most Exciting Team to Watch

1. Edmonton-with their speed, enthusiasm and work ethic, it is always fun to watch the oilers especially when they are forechecking like crazy.

2. Vancouver-the Canucks think offence first and it is awesome to watch the top line work it’s magic and the defence pinching every shift creating more offence.

3. Toronto- the Leafs are fun because they always make it interesting. They love to score and frown on backchecking which creates chances at both ends leading to some exciting hockey.

4. Ottawa- they lull teams to sleep with their tight checking but are fun to watch on the counter attack with all that skill on that team.

5. Montreal-Julien has them playing tight defence but it is nice to watch good skating teams and always great to see Theodore being his heroic self.

6. Calgary- they play tight defence and don’t score a whole lot but their aggressive style and hard hitting play is a hit with the fans.

Best History

1. Montreal-23 Stanley Cups, Richard, Richard, Beliveau, Gefferion, Harvey, Savard, Robinson, Dryden, Lach, Plante, Roy, Couroyer, Lemaire, Gainey, Lapointe, Morenz. Nuff said.

2. Toronto-11 cups, many Hall of Famers, a rich tradition that has had some great years (1960′s) and some bad ones (the Ballard Era).

3. Edmonton- The last Dynasty. Dominated the mid to late 80′s. Gave the league some of the greatest players ever, exciting hockey. and oh yeah some guy named Gretzky set every record in the book.

4. Calgary-1 cup and 2 finals appearances including 2004. has had many great players go through Calgary like MacInnis, MacDonald, Vernon, Nilsson, Loob, Nieuwendyk, Mullen, Gilmour.

5. Vancouver- no cups but 2 finals appearances that sent the city into hysteria. has brought over 30 years of exciting hockey to the west coast.

6. Ottawa-nothing to show for yet in their brief history but could soon make history of their own with a cup win.

Best Coach

1. Calgary-Sutter’s teams never take a night off. he has gotten his team to buy into his system and it is working.

2. Vancouver-Crawford is a very imaginative coach who likes an aggressive system. he gets a bit emotional at times. but he is a winner

3. Toronto-Quinn has 500 plus wins in the NHL. And was coach for Team Canada at the Olympics and World Cup. He must be good at the job.

4. Montreal-Julien has revamped the habs into a strict defensive team. He has put in a good system that uses the teams strength, team speed, to their advantage.

5. Ottawa-Murray hasn’t coached a lot in recent times but this time he has a very good team to work with. Offers a more offensive system than Martin.

6. Edmonton- MacTavish is a good coach however his team is prone to long slumps during the year that eventually costs them a playoff berth.

Best General Manager

1. Montreal-the only one of this group to win a cup as a GM. Gainey is a great hockey man who brings instant credibility and stability to the Habs.

2. Edmonton-Lowe is Gretzky’s right hand man for Canada. He is also a very good NHL GM too building a pretty competitive and young team while keeping a strict low payroll.

3. Calgary-Sutter has made some great moves that resulted in the team going to the finals. Being both GM/Coach has helped him figure out what his team needs are first hand.

4. Ottawa-Muckler is slowly turning his team from a bunch of softies to a bit more tougher bunch. He brings credibility and experience as a champion to the table. Made some bold moves this summer taking out much of the team’s core.

5. Toronto-after one year JFJ has done an ok job. Still he needs to rebuild the farm system which will take some time. His recent signings are a bit questionable.

6. Vancouver-Nonis just started so it will take some time to judge how good he can be. He did learn from a good guy in Burke.

Best Ownership

1. Toronto- willing to spend to win, they open up the wallets when the team needs it. You cannot question their ability to provide money, it is how they spend it is the big question mark. For that we blame the hockey department more than the owners.

2. Ottawa- Melnyk saved the team. He has also spent to help the Sens get over the top. He is very willing to give a few more dollars if it means getting a player to make a difference.

3. Calgary- very loyal ownership group that has shown great patience with the team despite it’s on ice failures.

4. Montreal-Gillett has been willing to spend if need be. Passionate about his team despite being American.

5. Vancouver-has had some internal troubles with them cutting Burke despite his great job in turning the team around.

6. Edmonton-have managed to keep the team afloat despite not having much money to spend, but unable to afford the stars and force management to cut payroll constantly.

Best Uniforms

1. Montreal-without a doubt the best Uniform in the League. no wonder it hasnt changed too much. the logo just exemplifies tradition and winning.

2. TOronto-if you are original 6 then you look good. always a popular choice of jersey across Canada. the Maple Leaf is of course the symbol of our great country.

3. Edmonton-you see the oilers and you instantly think of the great players who have donned the Jersey. they have a fantastic and unique 3rd jersey which i consider one of the league’s best.

4. Ottawa-3 very fashionable jerseys. tough in black, colourful in red and traditional in white.

5. Calgary- a very popular uniform these days after their amazing cup run. I do prefer their all orange uniforms of back in the 1980s and early 90′s but their current ones are not bad.

6. Vancouver- why a whale is their logo is beyond me cept the company that owns the nucks is Orca bay which ironically has a whale in their logo too. but their vintage jerseys are great, especially their dark ones. they should go back to those.

Best Arena

1. Ottawa-great sightlines. not a bad seat in the house. can get really loud too.

2. Montreal-great atmosphere when the habs are winning.

3. Toronto-outside of the empty seats at the start of periods, teh ACC has a great atmostphere to it as well. expensive though.

4. Vancouver-a loud building.

5. Edmonton-great ice but lacking in more state of the art stuff like fancy booths and luxury seating.

6. Calgary- see edmonton but the ice is not quite as good.

Best Fans

1. Toronto- through thick and thin the fans are always following “God’s team”. they have suffered a 37 year drought and through the ballard years but yet they live to tell about it.

2. Calgary-is there any other fan base that cheers their team at the end of the season for losing and missing the playoffs? talk about loyalty. they love their flames and love them even more after their amazing playoff run.

3. Edmonton-when the chips were down the fans step up and did their best to keep the team around. they were spoiled by the Gretzky led Oilers but still have hung around to follow and cheer for this young team.

4. Ottawa-very loyal fan base that are teased with a great regular season and tortured every year with a heartbreaking early playoff loss.

5. Vancouver-when the house is pack and the nucks are winning, there are no louder fans than the nucks.

6. Montreal-they love their habs but the fans can sure be cutthroat too. tehy are relentless when it come to booing their own players.

Best Mascot

1. Calgary-harvey the hound. a hero in Calgary for pissing off Mac T and the Oilers.

2. Toronto-carlton the bear. the only ally of Dmitri Yushkeivich in the Leafs organization.

3. Ottawa-spartacat. this fuzzy furball gets fans riled up in the corel centre.

4. Vancouver-fin. again with the fish. they should use Johnny Canuck.

5. Montreal-they have none

6. Edmonton-they have none

Best Hockey City

1. Toronto-center of the hockey universe. there is no other city that eat, sleeps and talks hockey 24/7/365. where else would you find a riot after a first round series win?

2. Edmonton- tehy dont call it the city of champions for nothing. you can just feel it being a hockey city with the cold weather and teh statue of the great one holding the cup.

3. Montreal-when they are winning, the team is worshipped, a loss and the city is in mourning. shows you how passionate the city is for the habs.

4. Calgary-if you watch the playoffs you will know that this is a great hockey city. the Red Mile they call it.

5. Ottawa-city is alive when they are winning but quickly dies and turns bitter when they lose.

6. Vancouver-i think it is a west coast thing as there isnt that same buzz as there is here in the east. when they are winning though, we in the east can feel it. but it seems that the worst things happen out in vancouver like the Bertuzzi/Moore and Brashear/MacSorley incidents.

Best Team

1. Ottawa-now has world class goalie to possibly put them over the top.

2. Toronto-veteran team will always be considered contenders

3. Calgary-cup finalists have the talent to do it again.

4. Vancouver-should contend if they get any goalending

5. Montreal-as Theo goes so go the Habs

6. Edmonton-good young team that is still growing.

What do you think?